World Series Odds: Dodgers Are the Team to Beat

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
World Series Odds: Dodgers Are the Team to Beat

We're over a month into baseball season, and we've started to see who the true contenders are to take home the World Series in the fall. Things aren't much different than from the beginning of the season, but it's nice to see some of these teams in action.

When looking at the World Series odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, what bet makes the most sense?

Here are the current top five favorites to win the World Series:

Los Angeles Dodgers+320
Atlanta Braves+460
New York Yankees +700
Philadelphia Phillies+1200
Baltimore Orioles+1200

All betting references come from the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+320)

If there was an offseason trophy to be handed out, Los Angeles Dodgers probably would have won that.

The big headline was the signing of Shohei Ohtani, but that was far from the only addition they made. With Ohtani not being able to pitch in 2024, they went out and acquired three starting pitchers. Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto have been great in their first season with the club, both with an expected FIP (xFIP) below 2.75.

The hitting for the Dodgers is also exceptionally strong. They have the best weighted runs created plus (wRC+) and weighted on-base average (wOBA) in baseball. Ohtani has not missed a beat with his new team, as he has a .436 wOBA. He's second behind Mookie Betts on the team, who's off to a blistering start himself. Betts is the MVP favorite with his ridiculous 215 wRC+.

Overall, this has led to a 20-13 record for LA. They've gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. Their expected record based on their run differential is 21-12, so they've even gotten a bit unlucky.

The Dodgers are clearly an elite team but will need to overcome another postseason let down to win the World Series this year and cash this bet.

Atlanta Braves (+460)

The Atlanta Braves won the World Series in 2021 and have been serious contenders in the two years since that title. They've had a few disappointing playoff series between then and now, but this year could be different.

The Braves suffered a big loss early in the season when their ace, Spencer Strider, was lost for the season. They did acquire Chris Sale in the offseason, and he has been looking healthy for the first time in years. Sale is sporting a 2.72 xFIP, his lowest since 2018.

Reynaldo Lopez has also helped pick up the slack from Strider's absence, and Max Fried has also been solid. Atlanta should have the pitching depth to help them navigate both the regular season and playoffs.

Atlanta is one the best hitting teams in the league, as well. They have the fourth-best wRC+ and fifth-best wOBA in the league.

The Braves didn't have Ronald Acuna Jr. healthy when they won in 2021, but it certainly helps their chances. The 2023 unanimous NL MVP has been off to a slow start this season, but he is a career 142 wRC+ hitter, and all of the projection systems still believe in him as a hitter.

With others like Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley, the Braves have one of the deepest lineups in baseball. They have slightly outperformed their expected record so far; they are 20-9 with a 19-10 expected record.

It seems likely that the Braves and Dodgers will be on a collision course and will be the favorites to come out of the NL.

New York Yankees (+700)

The New York Yankees haven't won or even made the World Series since 2009 -- despite having plenty of regular season success since that year.

Like the Braves, they haven't had their ace available to them this season. Gerrit Cole was injured in spring training and has yet to pitch this season. The good news is that Cole is starting to throw, so hopefully he will be back soon.

The Yankees acquired Marcus Stroman to help boost the middle of their starting rotation, and he's pitched well with a 3.74 xFIP. Carlos Rodon was the big acquisition last offseason, but the lefty was injured and pitched poorly when he took the mound. This season, he is still struggling a bit but is on a better path to be a contributor. The backend of the rotation features guys like Nestor Cortes, Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt, who have all been effective.

Stroman was not the brand-name addition the Yankees made in the offseason. That would be Juan Soto, who is currently the favorite for the AL MVP. Soto has mashed to the tune of a .445 wOBA in his first season in NY.

The Yankees offense hasn't been as good as they would have hoped. They only rank seventh in wRC+ and ninth in wOBA. They'll need Aaron Judge to get going; he currently has the lowest wOBA, wRC and isolated slugging percentage (ISO) of his career.

The other bats in the Yankees lineup like Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Volpe and Alex Verdugo have been inconsistent this season. If the Yanks want to be true contenders, they'll need these guys to support Judge and Soto.

New York is currently not leading the AL East with their 20-13 record. They have played exactly to their expected record, which is 20-13.

Considering they haven't had the 2023 AL Cy Young winner, the Yankees have played well. If Cole comes back and is himself, they could find themselves with some success in the fall.

Philadelphia Phillies (+1200)

The Philadelphia Phillies may have lost the division to the Braves over the last two seasons, but that hasn't hurt them in the postseason. The Phillies eliminated Atlanta in both playoff years, making the World Series in 2022 and the NLCS in 2023.

The strength of this Philly team is their starting rotation. Their starters have combined for a 3.05 xFIP, the lowest in the MLB. Aaron Nola has a 3.52 xFIP, -- a completely reasonable number -- and that's the highest among the starters. Zack Wheeler has a 30.8% strikeout rate, whileRanger Suarez is rocking a 2.37 xFIP and 2.37 skill interactive ERA (SIERA).

This isn't to say the Phillies can't hit. Trea Turner has a .375 wOBA, his best since 2021. Alec Bohm may be having a breakout season, with his .440 wOBA and .220 ISO. That doesn't even include the big lefty bats from Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. They also have hitters like Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto and Whit Merrifield, who have struggled so far but have the potential to improve given their track records.

Overall, Philadelphia is 10th in wRC+ and 8th in wOBA. That, combined with their excellent pitching, makes them a dangerous team.

The Phillies are just behind the Braves in the NL East by a half-game. If they are able to win the division and not have to play in a Wild Card series, that would help their odds. They have overperformed their expected record, but it's only by a margin of two games, so it doesn't scream regression.

Philadelphia is somewhat of a longshot that I'd consider betting on at this price.

Baltimore Orioles (+1200)

The Baltimore Orioles burst into contention last season with the best record in the American League. Then, they proceeded to get swept in the ALDS.

After that sweep, they decided they needed to add a pitcher. They went out and traded for Corbin Burnes. Burnes has pitched well since joining the club with a 3.12 xFIP and a 25.8% strikeout rate.

Those are the best numbers on the team, so they don't have the same kind of starting pitching depth that the other contenders do. This would be the main concern for their World Series chances.

Luckily for the O's, they can hit past their questionable pitching. Their active lineup is third in both wOBA and wRC+. The main thing that is exciting about their hitting is the power they bring (.213 ISO). The next closest team to them is the Houston Astros with just a .177 ISO.

Gunnar Henderson and Colton Cowser are providing the most power as they each have an ISO above .300. Ryan O'Hearn has also been mashing. He has a .403 wOBA, but that pales in comparison to his expected wOBA (xwOBA) of .482. With Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle and Jordan Westburg, this lineup is downright scary.

Currently, the Orioles are a game ahead of the Yankees after taking three of four games from them this week. Their expected record is slightly worse than New York's, and this will likely be a battle all season long.

If Baltimore could perhaps trade for another starting pitcher, I'd like their chances of winning the World Series a lot better.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.